Christianity as Growing Wakefulness

Lo! I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed. -Revelation 16:15

Christ’s coming again, which makes itself felt more and more as a spiritual fact, asks of individual human beings grave decisions. It does not leave us as we were before. If we sleep through the event, we are inwardly poorer – this is the point of comparison in the strange and yet realistic picture of Christ coming “like a thief”. In comparison with this is the blessing of him who is  ‘awake’.

In ancient times, the Lord gave to His own in sleep, but humanity has stepped out of the divine dream of the early childhood of humanity; mankind has to wake up – primarily at first to the earthly world. If the wakefulness is limited to the material world, however, there gradually arises the feeling: unfortunate are the wakeful. Then, we bear this adult wakefulness like a burden, and seek narcotics and opiates in order to escape the desolate reality. Rightly understood, Christianity is not opium. It means raising the power of wakefulness beyond the material world into the spiritual. Whoever shrinks back from the full adult responsibility of sober awakening in order not to lose his or her childhood faith does not yet know that all waking and knowing that could be dangerous to Christianity is always only a half-waking and half-knowing. It is precisely within the meaning of Christianity to penetrate to the full awareness and a full knowledge that includes the Super-sensible. Therefore “blessed is he who is awake”.

-Rudolf Frieling

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